Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said Wednesday that the Trump administration is “desperate” for more legal immigrants to sustain the country’s strong economic growth under President Trump.
“We are desperate — desperate — for more people,” Mulvaney told an audience of several hundred people at Oxford Union in England, according to The Washington Post.
“We are running out of people to fuel the economic growth that we’ve had in our nation over the last four years. We need more immigrants,” he added.
However, those new immigrants must enter the country in a “legal fashion,” Mulvaney said, explaining that the administration wants to emulate the immigration systems in Canada and Australia.
“We are very interested in expanding that,” Mulvaney said.
Mulvaney’s remarks appear to be at odds with policies embraced by senior policy adviser Stephen Miller, an immigration hard-liner who has pushed for restricting legal as well as illegal immigration.
Miller was one of the driving forces behind the public charge rule, which allows a would be immigrant’s likely reliance on government welfare to be counted against them when they apply for citizenship.
“America should when issuing green cards take into account whether an immigrant can pay their own way or be reliant on welfare, or whether they’ll displace or take a job from an American worker,” Miller argued in 2017.
“We’re protecting blue-collar workers,” Miller added at the time.
Trump has emphasized the role of legal immigrants in the U.S. economy, saying they are essential to companies that are looking to move back to the U.S. and need employees.
“I need people coming in because we need people to run the factories and plants and companies that are moving back in,” the president said last year. “We need people.”
Nevertheless, the administration has curbed legal as well as illegal immigration since Trump took office. The State Department has cut the number of visas issued by 17 percent, and border authorities have made it tougher to claim asylum at the southern border.